News From The Pews

Editors Notepad July 2017

Lunches to raise money for charity will be Saturday 1st July in church from 12 noon; coffees served from 10.30 

Coffee & Chat is on Tuesdays at the Church Centre from 10.30am – 12 noon with books, clothes & bric-a-brac for sale.  Do drop in.

On Wednesday 5th July there will be a Prayer Breakfast, organised by Churches Together.  This will be at 9am in St Martin’s church.

On Sunday 9th July Lux Mundi will be at the Free Church at 6pm.  This is described as for young people and the young at heart!  All are welcome.

Monthly lunches will be on Tuesday 11th 12.30 at the Church Centre.  All are welcome, but please book vegetarian option on 823537.

On Wednesday 12th July Marilyn Baker, a blind gospel singer, will give a concert at the Free Church at 7pm.  All are welcome.

Messy Church will be on Sunday 23rd July, 4pm at the Church Centre.  Families welcome.

During the week 24th -28th July, we are organising a Holiday at Home.  This is a new venture for St Martin’s and I’m afraid we are only able to accommodate a limited number of people this time.

A garden is a wonderful place to relax

and however the early summer weather is shaping up,
I hope there will be significant moments when you can spend some leisure time working,
resting or entertaining in a garden: your own, or someone else’s.
Right at the beginning of the Bible the idyllic place God chose for Adam and Eve to
dwell was a garden – the ‘Garden of Eden’, a place of perfection and peace.
Right at the end of the Gospel accounts, before his arrest and crucifixion it’s in a garden
that Jesus goes to pray – the ‘Garden of Gethsemane’. And later his body is
taken to “a garden in which there is a new tomb”, where he is buried, and from where he was
raised on that first Easter morning. 
So, both the dawn of creation and of the new creation have gardens at their heart.
In “The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God”,
George Bernard Shaw wrote: "The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there."
On 24/25 June, gardens around the village will be open – details will be elsewhere in this
edition and in many other places. Exploring the Open Gardens, we can be renewed and refreshed
as we enjoy their colour, scent and variety. We can draw inspiration from the ideas of others
and of course we can mix and mingle with friends and strangers as we do so.
Hopefully, we may also feel God to be near, whether we are alone or in company,
in the peace of one of these gardens.
A further opportunity – indeed a series of further opportunities exist
in the programme of ‘Quiet Gardens in Leicestershire’. Look up to
find a programme of some 18-20 Quiet Days being offered in a variety of venues between May and September,
typically running from 10 am to 4 pm.
And remember to thank God for beauty in the world as the village is once more spruced up and filled
with flowers through the efforts of the Desford in Bloom team – noting of course that the best thanks
of all might be to offer to join the watering crews! 


Summer Fete A Great Day Out

Thank you to the Enderby Band who set the scene for a lovely day.
Thank you to the Linda Williams dancers and Repco for their very professional displays – which get better each year!
Thank you to all who cooked, provided prizes, time and effort -   especially putting up and taking down the tent!
Thanks to everyone who came - making it a great community event.

All our efforts help to achieve £1,970.00 towards the mission of St. Martin’s church - such a fantastic result !!!

Thank You

Editors Notepad June 2017

Charity lunches this month will be replaced by lunches served in church from 12 noon before the Summer Fete on Saturday 3rd June. This opens at 2pm and will have lots of stalls and entertainment, including the Enderby Band, Linda Williams Dance Academy and RepCo drama.  We are hoping for fine weather, so that we can be out on the church green

Coffee & Chat is on Tuesdays at the Church Centre from 10.30am – 12 noon with books, clothes & bric-a-brac for sale.  Do drop in

Monthly lunches will be on Tuesday 13th 12.30 at the Church Centre.  All are welcome, but please book vegetarian option on 823537

On June 18th many members of the church will be in Milford on Sea for this year’s Away Weekend, so why not go to Desford Free Church or St Barts at Kirby Muxloe.  You will be made very welcome

Messy Church will not take its usual form this month because it is Open Gardens weekend.  Instead there will be craft activities for children & families on the church green.  If you come between 2 and 4pm you will also be entertained by Dave Harmers New Orleans Hot Shots.  Do allow time to look inside the church and see our exhibition of Memory Boards plus beautiful Quilts from Loving Hands.  Luckily the programme for Open Gardens lasts you for 2 days, so I suggest you start on Saturday at 11 o’clock and see how many you can visit.  There is a Children’s Trail and don’t forget the Flower Festival in the Free Church.  As part of the weekend it is traditional to have a Midsummer Concert by the Beaufort Entertainers.  Come and relax after your busy day (Tickets available in advance from 822939)

Lunches in aid of charity will be back as normal on July 1st

To Wynne on 12th March 2017
From all at St. Martin’s Desford

Now at one hundred and five,
Best wishes we all bring,
And congratulations to
Our own beloved Wynne.

A remarkable lady
She doesn’t miss a trick
And mobile yet (if slower)
Her mind’s still sharp and quick.

So we now sincerely all
Join joyfully and sing:
Happy Birthday, and God Bless,
To you, today, dear Wynne

Phyllis Chapman weekend

June 17th – Sun 19th : Returning to: South Lawn Country House Hotel, Lymington Road, Milford on Sea SO41 0RF – 01590 643911 -= events@south B & B £90. Friday evening meal £20. Saturday BBQ £10. Very limited single rooms available There are some ground floor rooms Pet friendly rooms available.

Jazz at St.Martins

Saturday the 18th March saw the popular Wabash Jazzmen appearing at St Martins for the 4th time. Over 75 people were there to enjoy another great evening of Traditional/New Orleans jazz played by Mark Challinor and the Wabash Jazzmen.

Mark is one of the UK's leading banjo players and also featured on ukulele and guitar. We were treated to a trombone solo by Richard Leach on Savoy Blues and Gordon Whitworth on trumpet playing an old favourite, Stardust. The five piece outfit (also featuring Mike Haler on reeds and Richard Vernon on bass) also played popular numbers Dans Les Rues D'Antibes and Black Cat on the Fence amongst many others.

All in all a very enjoyable night that the audience did not want to end.

Thank you everyone who supported us and those who provided refreshments and helped to tidy up afterwards.

We were able to put £500 into our Special Project fund for future enhancements to the church. 

Oddfellows Brass Band

Oddfellows Brass Band - a sell out !

Saturday 18th February saw a welcome return of the Oddfellows Brass Band - a sell out !

The first set pieces were from “Grease” and we could join in with well  known songs: Grease Lightning, You’re the one that I want, and of course Summer Nights – with the collective deep sigh right at the end !

There was a wonderful solo of “On with the motley” – from the opera Pagliacci and we were introduced and learnt about the instruments featured in the band.

The first half finished with the rousing “Dam Busters march” and we all joined the queue for our refreshments.

Second half featured the theme from Black Beauty, the Gaelic Blessing (well known to members of the choir who sing it often at weddings), “Memories” and finished with the theme from “633 Squadron”.

The band are taking part in a competition next week and they played for us their test competition piece of “Born Free”.  We wish them well.

After roaring applause, we had an encore of “Delilah” before singing the National Anthem.

It was a wonderful varied programme – not all of which is listed here and It’s hard to put on paper the fantastic sound and thrill we had in listening to such a polished performance – the vibrations around the church were palpable! We are privileged to be able to bring such wonderful music to our village.

Thank you to everyone who came, to those who provided refreshments and for Ray & Jane for organising it all.
You helped to raise £580 which will go towards our “Special Projects”.

Our Access for All project is now finished but there are several things we would still like to see in our church, one of them perhaps being new glass doors at the entrance.  Nothing has been decided but we thought we would start the fund going.


Editors’ Notepad May 2017

Coffees & lunches in aid of a named charity will be on Saturday 6th May, with coffee served from 10.30 – 2.30 and lunches from 12 noon.  All welcome
Coffee & Chat is on Tuesdays at the Church Centre from 10.30am – 12 noon with books, clothes & bric-a-brac for sale.  Do drop in
Monthly lunches will be on Tuesday 9th 12.30 at the Church Centre.  All are welcome, but please book vegetarian option on 823537 
On Saturday 20th there will be another Murder Mystery Evening.  These are very popular, so please ring 822939 to see if there are any tickets left.  
Messy Church will be on Sunday 28th at the Church Centre.  All families are welcome


Messy Church Dates 2017

Messy ChurchAt St. Martin's Desford

My lovely volunteer team have been getting their heads together to look at Messy Church for the year ahead and we have discovered that some of our regular sessions are falling on dates where we are going to struggle to deliver the session. So with apologies for where this is going to happen I thought it best to update you now...

February 2017 - as normal  26th Feb
March DATE WILL MOVE FORWARD ONE WEEK to avoid Mothers Day - new date will be 19th March  
NO MESSY ON 23rd April we will be offering a Messy Easter session on Good Friday April 14th.
May  as normal NO MESSY ON 25th June as Open Gardens is happening in the village we are hoping to run a Messy craft table outside at the front of the church from 12-6pm as a family drop in session.
July 23rd - as normal
August - Messy on Holiday
Sept -24th as normal
Oct - 22nd as normal
Nov - 26th as normal - this will be our Messy Christmas session
December - NO Messy - There will be the children's Christingle service at 6pm in Church on Christmas Eve.

Notepad February 2017

Charity coffees & lunches resume on Saturday 4th Feb, with coffee served from 10.30 – 2.30.  All welcome
Coffee & Chat is on Tuesdays at the Church Centre from 10.30am – 12 noon with books, clothes & bric-a-brac for sale.Do drop in
Monthly lunches will be on Tuesday 14th 12.30 at the Church Centre.
All are welcome, but please book vegetarian option on 823537 
On Saturday 18th Feb we welcome back the Oddfellows Brass Band for a concert in church at 7.30pm. 
Tickets are available from 824014
Messy Church will be on Sunday 26th Feb at 4pm in the Church Centre.  Families welcome

Memories Of A Wonderful Weekend

What a great weekend we had for our 14th Christmas Tree Festival with lots of visitors over the four days. Friday evening was quite outstanding with people having to queue to come into church and I was amazed at the patient behaviour of parents and children who had to wait anything up to 40 minutes to visit Father Christmas
Trying to see the choir and conductor was quite difficult for me at the organ with people packed in the aisles, but at least I had a seat to sit on which most people didn’t.
It was a joy being in church and meeting people and talking to them. We even had some coming from Birmingham and the Isle of Wight and several Leicestershire towns and villages. Talking to one family while they were having some refreshments ended up with me kneeling on the ground while their little girl tried the count the number of Father Christmases on my jumper. She didn’t quite make it as in all there are 47.
I was very impressed with the large number of visitors this year. We had to send down to the Church Centre for more chairs on Saturday night for Beaufort Entertainers Concert, somebody else I hope will write about the concert and Advent Spiral Service held on Sunday evening, 
The thought and variety that had gone into the trees was very interesting and informative. 
It was hard work for those involved and our grateful thanks must go to Maggie and Pat who bore the most burden of it all for it to happen. Although hard work it can be great fun and enjoyable experience so why not think about ‘helping out’ next year.  More hands on deck can make things much easier. There are sitting down jobs for those who are less able to stand. 
Peter Folks

Notepad January 2017

On Thursday 8th the Forest Group of the WI will hold their Carol Service in church at 7.30pm
Christmas lunch is on Tuesday 13th at the Church Centre at 12.30. If you have not already signed the list,
please book on 823537 

On the evening of Tuesday 13th, there will be a Concert by Hinckley Choral Union at 7.30pm in church

On 14th & 15th Desford Primary School’s Key Stage 2 will be holding their Carol Concerts for parents
This means that the PCC meeting may be changed this month

On Saturday 17th Hinckley & Bosworth Mayor’s Civic Service will take place in church at 1.30pm
(This year’s mayor, Richard Allen, grew up in Desford)

On Sunday 18th it is St Martin’s Carol Service at 6pm, to which all are welcome

On Monday 19th this year’s Sing Christmas will be held at Botcheston Village Hall. 
All are welcome to come and sing-along with the Radio Leicester broadcast from 7 – 8pm. 
Please be in your seats by 6.50pm

The last Coffee & Chat will reopen on Tuesday 10th January 2017
Messy Church will be back on Sunday 22nd January  

Last, but not least, our Christingle Service will be held as usual at 6pm on Christmas Eve.
This is geared particularly towards families, but all ages are welcome

Notepad December 2016

Our 14th Christmas Tree Festival runs from Friday 2nd to Monday 5th December.  The church will be open every day from 10am, except Sunday from 12 noon, serving lunches as well as drinks and cake

On Friday the Christmas Market this year will be bigger & better than ever.  Santa will be in his Grotto as usual and the choir will be singing carols, and there will be stalls both inside and outside from 6 - 9pm.  With a hog roast and mulled wine, there will be plenty to get you in the festive mood

On Saturday evening at 7.30pm there will be the Beaufort Entertainers Christmas Concert (Tickets £8 from 822939)

On Sunday evening at 6pm there will be an Advent Carol Service at which we light our Advent Spiral.  All are welcome

On Thursday 8th the Forest Group of the WI will hold their Carol Service in church at 7.30pm

Christmas lunch is on Tuesday 13th at the Church Centre at 12.30. If you have not already signed the list, please book on 823537

On the evening of Tuesday 13th, there will be a Concert by Hinckley Choral Union at 7.30pm in church

On 14th & 15th Desford Primary School’s Key Stage 2 will be holding their Carol Concerts for parents

This means that the PCC meeting may be changed this month

On Saturday 17th Hinckley & Bosworth Mayor’s Civic Service will take place in church at 1.30pm (This year’s mayor, Richard Allen, grew up in Desford)

On Sunday 18th it is St Martin’s Carol Service at 6pm, to which all are welcome

On Monday 19th this year’s Sing Christmas will be held at Botcheston Village Hall.  All are welcome to come and sing-along with the Radio Leicester broadcast from 7 – 8pm.  Please be in your seats by 6.50pm
The last Coffee & Chat for 2016 will be on Tuesday 20th at the Church Centre, 10.30-12.  It will reopen on Tuesday 10th January 2017.
Messy Church has a break this month as the 4th Sunday is Christmas Day, but will be back on Sunday 22nd January

Last, but not least, our Christingle Service will be held as usual at 6pm on Christmas Eve.  This is geared particularly towards families, but all ages are welcome

Grand Auction

Thank you to all those who donated items for our auction this year.
We had a busy weekend collecting items on Friday and getting them all catalogued for Saturday

The day itself was very busy and thanks go to our Auctioneer, the band of people who helped display each item, collect monies, help in the kitchen, sell catalogues etc.

We couldn’t have done it without a well oiled team effort.
The final figure raised was £1399.00 which has helped to clear our Access for All account – a project which cost in the region of £170,000!

Well done everyone.

Charity lunches

Thank you to all those who have supported our monthly Saturday lunches which this year have raised £1631.00.
Eight charities have each received £100 and £831 has helped fund our youth group.
These will commence in February next year and we look forward to your continued support.

Editors Notepad October 2016

The church is open for coffee and Charity Lunches from 10.30am – 2.30pm on Saturday 1st October.

Coffee & Chat is every Tuesday at the Church Centre, 10.30-12.  Do drop in and browse our books, bric-a-brac and clothes.
On Sunday 9th it is Harvest Festival at 10.30 in church, followed by Harvest Lunch in the Church Centre.  If you would like to join us for lunch, please book on 822939.

The monthly lunch is on Tuesday 11th at the Church Centre at 12.30.
If you would like vegetarian, please book on 823537.

The PCC meet on Wednesday 12th at 7.30pm.

Messy Church this month is on Sunday 23rd.  Do bring your children/grandchildren along at 4pm at the Church Centre.

Saturday 29th will be a busy day, with the annual Save the Children Sale at the Free Church from 11am – 2.30pm whilst there is an Auction at the Church Centre from 1pm.  Plenty of opportunities for a bargain!.

Jane Jerrard

Jane Jerrard was CMS Mission Partner in Pakistan for 20 years.
In April she returned to the UK and is now in Oxford as a member of the Impact Assessment Development Team, training new mission partners.
Jane led the Primary Education Project which included the Literacy Education Awareness Programme in rural Sindh in the diocese of Hyderabad.  This programme focussed on girls’ education, setting up as many schools as possible, and has had a great impact on communities.  Despite many changes, girls are still marginalised and thousands of children still work in the fields rather than attend school.  Jane’s work will be continued by her successor, Lilian Charles, and we should continue to pray for the work of Lilian and her team as well as for Bishop Kaleem John, the Diocese of Hyderabad and the Church of Pakistan as they maintain a Christian presence in a troubled land.


Thank you to all who support our charity lunches.
From February to July this year you have raised £1,034.50
£516.75 has gone into our youth group funds and £100 has been sent to each of the following:
Heartlink, Leprosy Mission, Wateraid, LOROS and Leicester Children’s Holiday Centre at Mablethorpe
£17.75 remains in the account to be added to monies received in August, September, October & November
As you can imagine, we receive lots of correspondence from charities and I was most surprised to learn that Leprosy is still a problem.  A look at “The Leprosy Mission England & Wales” website will tell you that this is considered one of the oldest most stigmatised diseases.
Leicester Children’s Holiday Centre at Mablethorpe (one of Leicester’s oldest charities), has for over a century,  provided free seaside holidays for over 55,000 children from Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. I heard more about them on Radio Leicester – a look at their website will tell you more about them.
Heartlink is in the news again as the NHS consider closing the children’s heart unit which might have a knock on effect for other patients – it faces an uncertain future.
Wateraid monies were sent in a joint donation with Desford Free Church.  Wateraid’s website tell us that they work in 37 countries and since 1981 have reached over 23 million people
Our efforts can make a difference.
Thank you once again

Editors Notepad September 2016

The church is open for coffee and Charity Lunches from 10.30am – 2.30pm on Saturday 3rd September.
Coffee & Chat is every Tuesday at the Church Centre, 10.30-12.  Do drop in and browse our books, bric-a-brac and clothes.

On Saturday 10th September it is the annual Ride & Stride.  A group of cyclists will be setting off from St Martin’s, so please contact 823589 if you would like to join them

The weekend of 10th/ 11th September is the national  Heritage Open Weekend.  Because of a wedding at 12 noon, the church will only be open from 2pm on the Saturday and from 12 noon after the service on Sunday.  Do come along to view the exhibition Forward Sisters, Local Women in Politics and have some tea & cake.

The monthly lunch is on Tuesday 13th at the Church Centre at 12.30.  If you would like vegetarian, please book on 823537.
The PCC meet on Wednesday 14th at 7.30pm.

On Friday 16th there will be a Barn Dance at the Caterpillar Social Club see details in the advert elsewhere in the magazine.

Messy Church this month is on September 25th with the theme of Messy Harvest.  Do bring your children/grandchildren along at 4pm at the Church Centre.

Phyllis Chapman weekend 2016Phyliss Chapman Weekend 2016

Saturday saw Stella, Margaret & Tony set sail (well at least we caught the ferry) to the Isle of Wight – very good value – only £11 return for those of pension age (whew we just made that criteria!)
Being organised sort of people we had looked at various bus trips around the island.  We decided to “do the costal” one – no go – it went from Ryde and we were going to Yarmouth.  So it was democratically decided (by the bus route) that we would go down “the left side” (as you look at the map) to the Needles and back again.
On the way we stopped off at Alum Bay which has a centre with various food outlets, tea rooms, children’s rides and a chair lift down to the beach.  Cup of tea won first choice and then a trundle around the glass blowing shop – before catching the bus down to the Needles old battery and then a walk down the cliff to the new battery.
This was  developed in the 1950’s and used as a secret establishment for testing and launching Prospero – a  communication satellite – which although no longer used still sends back messages .  It was here that the secret rockets Black Knight and Black Arrow were tested - the latter being the one which launched Prospero from Woomera in Australia.   Under the cliffs were still sections of the war rooms with maps and detailed drawings – a fascinating place.  It was dismantled – rather short-sightedly in the 1960’s as “they” could see no use for such a thing as a communication satellite!   If only they had known!
Back on the bus to Yarmouth, where we stopped for lunch and meandered around the shops and port (couldn’t see daddy’s yacht anywhere!) Then back on the ferry to our lovely hotel for a rest before dinner.
Other going’s on will be written about by others – watch this space!


Light in our Darkness Banner

Light in our darkness banner

Many years ago people have asked me “Why do we change the colours of the Altar frontals?”

 I replied “To follow the Church’s seasons, not our actual seasons”

In October I was inspired to do a Candle Banner – Light in our Darkness incorporating the Church’s year.  We are often in “darkness” in our lives, but Christ’s Light is there for all to see.

Beginning with left to right ….

ADVENT – Purple – getting ready for our Saviour – star
Followed by Red/Gold for our Saviour’s birth – CHRISTMAS
Then green for EPHIPHANY – Arrival of the three Magi (Kings)
LENT - purple
GOOD FRIDAY – blue with the Cross, Crown of Thorns and nails
White/Gold for EASTER SUNDAY
PENTECOST – Red/Gold – Dove and Flame of the Holy Spirit
TRINITY – green with the Triquetra and Circle – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit
HARVEST – in autumn colours – grapes and wheat used in bread and wine
and finally to balance the candles – white to represent Christ’s EUCHARIST

I hope this gives pleasure to many people.  God gave us His precious Gift – Jesus. He in turn gives us many Gifts and we should use them to His glory.

May He be the Light in your Life

Sheila Allum

Milford on Sea

Editors Notepad August 2016

On 3rd August a group are going to Launde Abbey for lunch.  The places are all taken, but if you would be interested in a future visit, please get in touch on 823537

The church is open for coffee and Charity Lunches from 10.30am – 2.30pm on Saturday 6th August

Coffee & Chat is every Tuesday at the Church Centre, 10.30-12.  Do drop in and browse our books, bric-a-brac and clothes

The monthly lunch is on Tuesday 9th at the Church Centre at 12.30.  If you would like vegetarian, please book on 823537

The PCC meet on Wednesday 10th at 7.30pm

A new venture for Churches Together is an International Safari Supper on Saturday 20th August.  Do read the advert elsewhere in the magazine and join in, by cooking and/or coming along to sample the food

Messy Church this month is taking a well earned break, but will be back on September 25th with Messy Harvest

The Youth Café also takes a break from the regular Wednesday night sessions, but there are lots of exciting trips on offer.

Beaufort Entertainers Concert


The Entertainers Summer concert this year proved to be a very popular event and surprisingly well supported, despite falling on an evening when, for various reasons, there were a host of clashing events in the surrounding villages. The programme was introduced in his incomparable style by Carl, who surpassed himself by setting his opening address into the lyrics of a song, perfectly fitting the tune “Aurelia”, better known as the hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation….”, or, to some older people, the tune to “Fred Karno’s Army”! This great opening stepped seamlessly (thanks to Peter and Mary) into Hubert Parry’s majestic coronation anthem “I was Glad”. Wow, what an opening, with the whole ensemble split into two separate choirs of four sections each. A carefully chosen contrast followed with the pensive “Benedictus”, from Karl Jenkins’ “The Armed Man”.

The contrasting styles and moods continued with the ladies singing a well balanced “Somewhere, Over the Rainbow” by Harold Arlen, from “The Wizard of Oz”, incorporating a well-received solo by Jane. It was then the turn of the men with the rumbustious “Hippopotamus Song”, by Michael Flanders and Donald Swann, accompanied very strongly by the audience and the ladies on the unforgettable chorus. Nice to get people singing along. Yet more contrast followed with a quartet comprising Qyam, Stephanie, Stuart and Zoe, which performed, very vigorously, “Brightly Dawns our Wedding Day” by Gilbert and Sullivan. The audience were, indeed, enthusiastically receiving a Cook’s Tour of the musical world and it is clear that variety really is the spice of life where concerts such as this are concerned.

The pace and mood moved into an altogether more gentle phase with the next three pieces. First came Stanford’s haunting a capella “The Blue Bird”. This piece requires great concentration on timing, breathing and pitch but the Entertainers proved well equal to the task, very much thanks to Mary’s careful direction and understanding of this difficult work. This was followed by Mozart’s “Lacrimosa”, a short but moving piece, well known to music lovers everywhere. Again, the understated and carefully controlled tempo direction gave a gloss to a testing piece, which rather hides the many hours of patient practice (plus mastery of the latin lyric!). The ladies were once more into their stride with the “Nun’s Procession” from “The Sound of Music”, which then modulated into the rather better known music and words of the show title, featuring the full choir. Quite a tricky arrangement and, like all Rodgers and Hammerstein songs, a tough act for a choir to follow (considering the money spent on the original sound tracks). Nevertheless, the Entertainers, nothing daunted, gave it their best shot and the audience appreciated it.

The final offerings for the first half were Reginald Spofforth’s glee carol, “Hail Smiling Morn”, a really bright and cheerful Yorkshire favourite, very enjoyable to sing. Finally, a very unusual tongue-twisting adaptation by Geehl of Strauss’s “Radetsky March”; a truly martial and cheerful foot-tappper, with which to close the session. The very skilful progamme selection for both halves showed, in the opinion of the writer, a real attention to justifying our title as “Entertainers”; the audience certainly seemed to think so.

The refreshment fare for the interval was up to the high standards normally exhibited by the dedicated group of helpers, led by Pat, Maggie and Margaret, Ray and Jane. It must be said that these ever-willing hands are the key to the popularity of Desford events and more ought to be done, where possible, to ease and spread the burden. After the break, matters moved apace into the customary Steve Pither Productions Corporation dramatics (Lawrence Olivier had nothing on Steve, for high quality, big budget productions!). A somewhat eccentric mix of rural and bucolic committee goings-on, rather reminiscent of “the Vicar of Dibley”, perhaps. Who knows? Nevertheless, the chosen thespians did their rustic and rude best, rather like Nick Bottom’s village players in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Anyway, we are all open to offers from the London Stage (or, perhaps as farm workers; don’t all rush at once) and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Keep up the good work, Steve.

The second half, under the direction of David, began with the perennially popular “Easter Hymn”, from Mascagni’s “Cavaleria Rusticana”. This fine piece, well suited to the occasion and the performers, showed a real tribute to the hard work put in by David. Zoe performed the solo passages with confidence and we all hope that David was pleased with the result of his labours on this, one of his favourite works. The next item was a really quite sublime harmony offering, “What Sweeter Music”, by John Rutter. This is a fine setting of the well known “Hesperides” work by Robert Herrick, sometimes known as ‘Herrick’s Carol’. Robert Herrick was of the same Herrick family that first bought the land, beneath which rested the bones of King Richard III, following the dissolution of the former Franciscan priory in Greyfriars, Leicester, a family that is connected to Leicester and County to this day. The Entertainers managed this difficult work very creditably, and we hope to sing it again, sometime.

A completely new item followed, with Peter and Nev providing a medley of snatches of tunes on organ and trombone, to provide a quiz of the tune titles. A great idea and very popular, well done, both; such a variety offering is ideal for light-hearted concerts, such as we aim to present. The choral offering continued with a sweet little hymn, “Bread and Fishes”, accompanied very well by the audience, thanks to Tony’s overhead screen show; there is a lot to be said for a multi-media facility. Next, came “Any Dream Will Do’, from Josepha and His Amazing Technicolour …… with Stuart who went on with the often sung “Bring him home”  piece from the show “Les Miserables.  The quartet then provided two more G&S pieces, “Brightly Dawns Our Wedding Day” and “Strange Adventure Wedding Day”; the wedding theme of these pieces had its explanation in the next surprise item by the Choir, “the Lord Bless You and Keep you”, to congratulate Stuart and Zoe on their forthcoming wedding. Well done, both and to the Quartet.

The final two pieces of the concert were both from Karl Jenkins’ “Stabat Mater”, the “Sancta Mater” and “Paradisi Gloria”. These pieces are very testing, indeed, particularly for conductor and accompanist. It was a very great credit to David and Peter that these pieces went well; two musician members of the audience, one very familiar with the works of Karl Jenkins, asked the writer of this article to make sure to express great appreciation to both Peter and David for their fine work and I am glad to pass this sentiment on. The “Stabat Mater” has a wealth of interesting and listenable items within it and it is nice to sing some of them, now and then.

So, there it was for another concert. It only remains to express the feelings, on behalf of the Entertainers, first to the audience for their wonderful appreciation and participation, without which our offerings would not work; please, please come again. There will, of course, be a Christmas Concert and we may also be able to put on a Sunday afternoon concert, before that, later in the Autumn, watch this space…….

Finally, our deepest gratitude must go to Peter, David and Mary, for their skill, patience and commitment to all musical matters at Desford, to Tony and Margaret for their hard work in selling tickets and preparing for the event, to Carl, Maggie and Pat and all other helpers; strength to all your arms, roll on the next one,

Michael Tookey

Summer Fete 2016

We spent all week looking at weather maps and on Saturday 12th June at 10am we were assured that there would not be any rain that day until 8pm

So our band of volunteers helped transport tables, chairs and tent from the centre to church while others prepared lunches inside.

When it was all nicely set up – it rained!

Too late to do anything about it so we covered what we could with bin liners and waited for it to stop,  then wiped down tables and chairs and brought tablecloths in to dry, --  a good time to have lunch!

By 2pm we were ready again and were pleased to see so many who came out to support our “Summer” fete.

The children’s games of hook a duck, hoop – la, coconut shy, mugs of sweets, toy stall and a children’s trail went down very well – as did the ice cream!  Adults enjoyed what the various stalls had to offer or sat and enjoyed cream teas, wine, Pimms and hot dogs whilst listening to the Enderby band before wandering into the church to buy cakes.  Our friends from St Bartholomew’s ran a Fair Trade stall (raising about £100).

We were entertained in a very professional way, firstly by The Theatre Workshop Display – did you see the children perform “A Chinese Tale”?  A very good use of choir white surplices we no longer use! They were joined by Repco a newly formed Repertory Company of year 7s from Desford.

After another short shower and a short interval of band playing, saw the Linda Williams Dancers give another very polished performance.

Thank you to all who helped take down the tent and transport various items back to the centre
and those who served lunches and cream teas.

Thank you if you provided prizes, baked and of course helped run the stalls.

Despite the old drop of rain, the weather mostly held up to provide another community feel to our summer fete which raised £1,610 towards our church funds and it is all thanks to YOU.

Let’s Meet – Dan McSharry

St Martin’s welcomed Dan McSharry as our new youth worker in September 2015 and it was a pleasure to meet him Dan McSharryin the Church Centre for a chat about his life and vision for youth work in Desford. Dan was born in Kettering and brought up in Wellingborough. His father is a railway signalling engineer and, when Dan was younger, his mother was a volunteer worker with people with learning difficulties. He has two older brothers: one leads a church in Loughborough and also works for “Home for Good”, a Christian charity for adoption and fostering. His other brother is training to be an accountant. Dan’s mother became a Christian when Dan was born and he attended church regularly from an early age. Read more..

Notepad June

The church is open as usual for Charity Lunches from 12 noon on Saturday 4th June, but following on from this, between 2 and 4pm we are offering Tea for the Queen.  To celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, we are opening up the church and churchyard for a Village Celebration.  We will be doing cream teas, but encourage families to bring a picnic and join in the occasion.  Enderby Brass Band will play appropriate music, so don’t forget to bring a flag to wave and a hat to wear.  There will be activities for the children and the opportunity to donate 10p pieces to one of the Queen’s charities

The following weekend is the Summer Fete on Saturday 11thJune from 12 for lunches and 2pm for all kinds of stalls.  Enderby Band will be playing again. We are hoping for good weather on both occasions

Coffee & Chat is every Tuesday at the Church Centre, 10.30-12.  Do drop in and browse our books, bric-a-brac and clothes

The monthly lunch is on Tuesday 14th at the Church Centre at 12.30.  If you would like vegetarian, please book on 823537

The PCC meet on Wednesday 8th at 7.30pm

This month’s concert is by the Beaufort Entertainers on Saturday 25th June at 7.30pm in church. Tickets from 822939, to include refreshments.  Do come and support our local choir  

Messy Church this month is on Sunday 26th June 4pm at the Church Centre.  There will be craft activities followed by a short service in church and ending with a meal.  All families are welcome, but no unaccompanied children please

A Great Night With The Wabash Jazzmen

On St George’s day, St Martin’s welcomed for the 3rd time the Wabash Jazzmen.

This highly entertaining hot five came together in 1994 with the desire to create a new sound on the trad jazz scene. All five of them are superbly accomplished musicians with Mark Challoner on the banjo and guitar and Richard Vernon on string bass.  In front of this rhythm section are Mike Haler on clarinet / saz,  Richard Leach on trombone and Gordon Whitworth on trumpet.

They played a wonderful mix of trad standards and spiritual music and we were even treated to a r & b number “Kansas City” which took Mike  back to his younger days!   The acoustics in the church could have been built for this quintet which was appreciated by an audience of 75.

Thanks to Kelvin for his advice and support, the team who provided the refreshments and Ewan and Ray on the door and raffle respectively.

A fantastic evening was had by all raising £500 for our Access for All fund.

Messy Church AprilMessy Church At St. Martin's Desford in Desford Church Hall

St Martin’s church has been successfully running Messy Church at St Martin’s Church Centre (Main Street) for 4 years now. Messy Church sessions are held on the 4th Sunday of each month starting at 4pm. Each session is based around a Christian theme and we keep to the traditional Messy values about being Christ centred, for all ages and based on creativity, hospitality and celebration. Messy Church is a way of being church for families which involves a whole host of fun.
It is church session, not a craft club, which helps families encounter Jesus as Lord and Saviour in a relaxed, enjoyable, and interactive way.

We are blessed to have a great team of welcoming volunteers who are brave enough to dive into supervising the messiest of crafts, are unflappable in the kitchen catering for unknown numbers at meal time, and delivering engaging, interactive child centric, short Christian services in our church.

Each Messy Church session will cover a bible story or Christian values for example
Forgiveness, Love, Prayer, Sin and Repentance.

New families are always welcome; (all children are required to be accompanied by a responsible adult please). The session begins with the children, mums, dads and grandparents getting creative with the crafts, sticky with glue, glitter and paints and become Jamie Olivers with bible baking. The room becomes a lively and joyous place, somewhere to spend quality time as a family and to meet others.  

The next Messy element is our celebration where we all go into church for our short service.
Our worship is very relaxed, understanding that children have a short attention span and often have trouble sitting still!

Our final Messy element is to sit down and eat a hot meal together and our amazing kitchen team are ready to serve tea as soon as we finish our celebration.

Sessions are provided by St Martin’s free of charge although we welcome donations.

If you have any questions or would just like to be placed on the Messy Email circulation so you can see what is going on each month, please contact
Kay Smith (Messy Organiser ), Tel: 07928 657736

Messy Church At St. Martin's Desford

Parental permission has been given for the use of this photo.

Notepad May

The church is open for Charity Lunches from 12 noon on Saturday 7th May. Coffee & cake from 10.30.
Coffee & Chat is every Tuesday at the Church Centre, 10.30-12.
Do drop in and browse our books, bric-a-brac and clothes

The monthly lunch is on Tuesday 10th at the Church Centre at 12.30.  If you would like vegetarian,

please book on 823537
The PCC meet on Wednesday 11th at 7.30pm

This month’s concert is by the Oddfellows Brass Band on Saturday 14th May at 7.30pm in church. 
It is sure to be a lively occasion.
Tickets £8 from 824014, to include refreshments.

Look out for our Churches Together Open Air Service at Sport in Desford at 10am on May 15th. 
This will precede the Carnival which runs from 11am to 4pm. We hope that you will bring the family and support this community event. There will be craft activities for children in the marquee.  

Please note that Messy Church this month is a week late, on Sunday 29th May 4pm at the Church Centre.
There will be craft activities based around the theme of Birthdays (to link to the Queen’s 90th birthday), followed by a short service in church and ending with a meal. All families are welcome, but no unaccompanied children please.

Advance notice that on Saturday 4th June we will be having Tea for the Queen, hopefully outside
on the church lawn, but indoors if wet.  We invite all the community to join in this event.

This year’s Womens World Day of Prayer was produced by Cuba
with the theme of children “Receive them, Receive me”

Ladies from Desford Free Church joined us (and several gentlemen too) as we too joined with women all round the world to celebrate this special day. Services would have begun when the sun came up in the east and ended as it went down in the west.

We started by writing an individual label with our names and / or a name of someone who needed our prayers.
These formed part of our “offering” and were taken home by each of us to pray for that particular person.

A comprehensive set of slides was shown as an introduction to Cuba itself with a narrative read by Hilary and seven of us had parts to play in explaining the country and customs – as shown in the photo. We sang hymns and prayed and had a time of reflection – again from a set of slides which gave us food for thought as to how we treat children. After the service we enjoyed fellowship together.
Thank you to Jane and Ann for organising us, Kay for dressing up in local costume and leading us, Peter for playing the organ and Tony for operating the sound and video system. Thank you too to the ladies who baked the delicious cakes to Cuban recipes. Our collection of £115.20 will be sent to WWDP HQ

Women’s World Day of Prayer – a celebration of Cuba

There was definitely a Cuban feel in the air on March 4th when we celebrated the Women’s World
Day of Prayer at St Martin’s. Salsa music provided the backdrop to the service written by Christian
women in Cuba to celebrate Jesus’ call to put children at the centre of God’s Kingdom:
“Receive them; receive me.”  Our volunteer ladies donned colourful costumes to enthusiastically
perform their roles in what was a thought provoking and happy service. I will never forget our
“buenas tardes” greetings to each other in the Cuban version of the “peace” that we celebrate in
our services. I hope that everyone who came along gained an insight into the country and its culture.
Afterwards we joined together in St Martin’s café to enjoy traditional Cuban lemonade (well, it was a
very cold day so understandably hot drinks were more popular!), coconut cookies, and cake, provided
by our volunteer bakers. Many thanks are due to everyone who contributed in any way to the service,
you are too numerous to mention here but you know who you are!
On a more serious note, prior to the service I was unaware of the persecution suffered by
Christians in Cuba. It seems that all religious activities and institutions are strictly regulated by the
Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party. This does make one think about, and be grateful
for, the freedom we have in the UK to worship.
The WWDP is an international Christian organisation whereby a different country prepares
a service every year to be held internationally on the same day. A bit like the start of a New Year,
services begin when the sun comes up in the east and ends as it goes down in the west. 
Next year the service will be hosted by Desford Free Church. I do encourage you to come
along in 2017 for an informative, thoughtful and enjoyable experience.
Jane Harwood

New Church Layout
New Church Layout

Come alog and see the new church layout, we think you will like the change

Charity Giving for 2015

Thank you to everyone who through 2015 has helped with our charity lunches and other charity giving.
You have helped to raise £2,770.30 as listed below:

£230.00      Christian Aid appeal for the Nepal Earthquake
£ 50.00      Leics. & Rutland Bat Group – raised by our youth group
£258.89     Children’s Society collection boxes
£530.00     Historic Churches Bike Ride
£654.00      Menphys – Christmas Tree Festival raffle
£140.41     Loros – raised in memory of John Adams
 £ 41.00     In lieu of Christmas Cards
£211.00     Childrens Society from our Christingle Service

Charity Lunches Raised £652.97 for our youth project as well as the following:
£100.00     Marie Curie
£100.00     Reality Bus project
£100.00     British Polio Fellowship
£100.00     SSAFA
£100.00     Disaster Emergency Committee – Nepal
£100.00     Menphys
£ 55.00      Christians Against Poverty

In addition :

From our Harvest Festival we sent fresh produce to the Emmaus Project and oil, flour etc to Fare Share
Christmas gifts in a shoebox to Operation Christmas Child
Christmas gifts for the elderly for distribution by the Salvation Army
We helped with the village collection for Christian Aid £1,687.28
At our Martinmas Fayre our friends from St Barts raised £137 for Fare Share and Penny raised funds
for Blue Cross animal charity.
Thank you to Ceinwen who is raising funds for church and Traidcraft

Chapman Adventure Weekend

Following a successful reconnaissance visit to the New Forest we can confirm that this year’s Phyllis Chapman
parish weekend will start on Friday 15th July to Milford on Sea on the edge of the New Forest opposite
the Isle of Wight. The format will be similar to former years with:

A 3 course meal, including coffee,  at the hotel on Friday evening at a cost of £20 a head
(you can decide your selection on the night from a choice each of 4/5 starters, mains and desserts)

On Saturday the “fit” ones amongst you have the opportunity to take a cycle ride planned by Robin and
Ruth Astle (cycle hire available)

For non-cyclists there is much to do around the area with the seaside, Hurst Castle, the New Forest
(we are close to Lymington and the IOW ferry)

On the Saturday evening the hotel will provide a BBQ at a cost of £8 per head in a separate room and bar,
so that we can “entertain ourselves” In true  St. Martin’s fashion.

On the Sunday morning we will worship with the congregation at All Saints Church Milford on Sea
followed by coffee.

As usual some of us will stay 3 nights, some 2 nights, some will take advantage of the hotel we have
arranged and some will make their own accommodation arrangements.

HOTEL -    Nev has negotiated an excellent hotel deal in his inimitable fashion as follows:

For two sharing the cost per each night you stay ( Friday/Saturday/Sunday) will be £83 per room for
bed and Breakfast

Very limited single rooms available at £70 per room per night so share if you can.
There are some ground floor rooms, pets allowed at a small charge.

IMPORTANT - The hotel has reserved 18 rooms for us UNTIL 14TH FEBRUARY.
bookings taken after that depending on availability.
South Lawn Country House Hotel, Lymington Road, Milford on Sea SO41 0RF,
01590 643911 -= events@south


Please book before 14th Feb if you intend to come as some were disappointed last year.
A comprehensive application form will be available next week,
this early warning due to the hotel lead time!!

Hope you can come.

Tony Stokes

Talents 2015/16

We are now bringing to a conclusion our “Access for All” project which, over several years has the aim of
enhancing and adapting our 800 year old church building for wider community use.

The first part of our project provided a lift, and we have now seen the installation of two WC’s
(one accessible), a kitchen, office and storage. The project did not originally include the upgrading
of our limited internal lighting or multi-media system but continued grant applications have enabled
this to be done as well as providing a new boiler – which failed at the last minute!  The reordering of the
seating arrangements has facilitated space for more community events. The project enables access for
those with difficulties and opens up opportunities to substantially increase community use of the building.

All we have achieved could not have been done without the tremendous efforts of Nev & Tony in applying
for grants, generous donations received and our fantastic “Talents” which have provided fun and food and
given us a real feeling of togetherness.   We have also managed to get VAT refunds on some of the work.

When all the funds and grants have been received, we will have a shortfall of approx. £6,000 which we
hope will be covered by our “Talents” efforts this year.

We started the year with Peter & Sheila displaying their Christmas Village, Jane & Ian fed us well with
an Italian meal in January and events to date will be found on the posters below – in the pipeline
we have more concerts including one with a brass band  and an auction ……………. So watch this space